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My Kos/Kathy Sierra Blog Posts

by Steven D Sun Apr 15th, 2007 at 01:11:51 PM EST

As some of you may know, I post to the front page at Booman Tribune.  Jerome has graciously asked me to re-post some of the stories about the Kos/Kathy Sierra controversy here, and I am happy to oblige him.  Below the fold are the stories in question in chronological order, beginning with this post on Friday.  For the record Markos's most recent response to this controversy is posted here: LINK.

Markos Moulitsas, Please Do the Right Thing

You wrote this post without seriously examining the facts that created the controversy in the first place: the death and rape threats blogger Kathy Sierra received at her blog, and elsewhere on the net.

I understand that any blogger can make this kind of mistake.  You saw an issue that might impact your business, and the free speech of all online bloggers. You wanted to come out strongly against any regulation or censorship of online speech.  And that's a reasonable and laudable position to take.  You just happened to pick the wrong incident to exploit for that purpose, as many others across the liberal blogosphere have noted.  Perhaps Jessica at Feministing said it best:

[I]t's one thing to argue--as Markos does--that a blogger code of conduct would be ineffective. Fine. But dismissing online misogyny and Sierra's experience (without even bothering to do any research on the subject, to boot) is reprehensible.

And this from Melissa at Shakesville is also very much on point:

I could write four paragraphs or so here documenting all the research done on stalking and threat conversion against women, but, frankly, I don't think numbers and stats are even necessary. Every male blogger to whom I've ever spoken about receiving rape threats reacts with horror and shock because they don't get them. It's a very different series of tubes for women and men, and it's really disappointing that the most prominent progressive blogger doesn't seem to recognize nor care that it's so. And, worse yet, tells those of us who do we ought just bugger off with our silly concerns for our own and others' safety.

People of color and members of the LGBT community are disproportionately targeted as victims of hate crimes; the solution is not more segregation. People with developmental disabilities and untreated mental illness leaving them vulnerable are also disproportionately targeted for harassment; the solution is not hiding them away from society in dreary but allegedly safe asylums. When female soldiers are raped, the answer is not to ban women from military service.

We are meant to be champions of integration, not exclusion, of placing the responsibility for harassment squarely where it belongs--on the harasser, not on the victim of harassment.

So, what should you do now?  You could ignore the criticism, or make excuses for your error, like Don Imus and his loyal gang of sycophants have tried to do in the case of the racial slurs the I-Man directed at the Rutgers women's basketball team.  You could claim you were misunderstood, or that people took your words out of context, or employ any of a number of other rhetorical devices to obfuscate and obscure that what you wrote about Ms. Sierra was fundamentally wrong.  In other words, you could act like Hillary Clinton has done regarding her vote to give Bush the authority to invade Iraq.

But that wouldn't be right, and I think in your heart you know that.  So do the right thing.

Apologize, without any conditions or excuses, to Kathy Sierra and to all the women bloggers whose characters have been sullied by your callous and ill considered remarks. Publish another front page post at your blog admitting that you were grossly mistaken when you made light of the severity of the vicious verbal attacks and threats posted online against Kathy Sierra, and implied that her legitimate response to such inexcusable and terrifying abuse resulted from a lack of testicles on her part.

Man up, in other words.  It's not a sign of weakness to admit one's mistakes.  It's a sign of maturity, a demonstration that you are big enough to admit that you were wrong.  A lot of people, whether they like you personally or not, will respect you if you do.  Even more important, I think you'd respect yourself a lot more, too.

Think it over.  It's never too late to make amends for the wrongs we do in life.  That's what I tell my two kids anyway.

Why the lack of concern for Kathy Sierra ?

A lot of people think that the entire brouhaha about the death and rape threats Kathy Sierra received have been vastly overblown.  In fact, the proprietor of Daily Kos, the dominant liberal blog in terms of traffic, had this to say recently about her "situation":

Look, if you blog, and blog about controversial shit, you'll get idiotic emails. Most of the time, said "death threats" don't even exist -- evidenced by the fact that the crying bloggers and journalists always fail to produce said "death threats". [...]

But so what? It's not as if those cowards will actually act on their threats. For better or for worse, this isn't a country in which media figures -- even hugely controversial ones -- are routinely attacked by anything more dangerous than a cream pie.

As I've written elsewhere, I think that was a terribly inappropriate response to make.  But it's also got me thinking: why do so many people defend what Kos wrote?

My theory?  I think it comes from a fundamental lack of understanding about what women experience everyday in our society.  In particular, the level of sexual harassment, misogyny, verbal abuse, and threats of physical violence, especially sexualized violence in the form of rape.  Others have quoted statistics up the wazoo about the vast gulf between the online threats and abuse women receive versus what men experience ...

Maybe, despite being a major blogger, you haven't spent much time thinking about the specific online experiences of women. In which case, you should know that women online--not just bloggers, but women in chat rooms or commenting on blogs or on internet forums--get twenty-five times more harassment than men do. That's not 25%; it's 2500%.

... but bare statistics are just numbers, too abstract, to cold and too detached from the actual experiences they document to make much of an impression on many people.  So let's get personal, shall we?

Most men have never been raped, or threatened with rape, or subjected to verbal abuse based on their gender.  Not all, by any means, but most men just don't have these experiences. That make sit a little hard to have any empathy for the women who have been raped, or beaten or verbally abused.  But not impossible.

I've known several women in my life who have been sexually abused.  Let me tell you their stories.  

My first wife was anally raped by her father for years before she left home.  She was in and out of therapy over the course of the next 2 decades because of this, and one of her therapists even took advantage of her trauma to sexually assault her as well (short of penetration, but a violation, nonetheless).  When we were married she never told me anything at all about what her father had done to her.  It was only years later that she confessed her dark secret to me.  Because many women feel such shame about the experience that they are unable to tell even their own partners, the people they love and who love them.

My sister was also raped as a child.  She was only nine or ten years old when it happened.  Again, she hid what happened to her from her family for several years out of a combination of fear, shame and guilt.  I won't share all the details, but it has had a lasting impact on her life.

I have a second cousin who was very close to my mother, and thus to all of our family, who married a man who regularly beat her, verbally abused her, raped her and made numerous threats to kill her.  It sounds like a cliche, but she frequently wore large sunglasses and thick make-up to hide the black eyes and bruises he gave her.  After she left him, she was so frightened she bought herself a pistol and learned how to shoot -- just in case.  She was lucky to obtain a divorce and escape him and his violence, but we all know of instances of women who are not so lucky.

But the harassment or abuse doesn't have to rise to the level of actual rape to have a profound effect on many women.  How many have had to endure sexism in the working place?  How many have been the target of a male peer or superior at work who has attempted to coerce her to provide "sexual favors?"  How many have had fathers, or brothers or husbands that verbally abuse them everyday in the most demeaning language?  You know the words:  Bitch.  Slut. Ho. Cunt.  Words that are bandied about by men often larger and more aggressive than the victim of their taunts.

So, I thought maybe an informal poll here at Daily Kos might prove useful.  Nothing too complicated.  Just vote whether you, as a male or female, have ever experienced any of the types of sexual, psychological and/or physical abuse that I've described above.  If people are honest, I think I know how the poll should come out.  But let's see, shall we.

Poll results here: LINK

Open Letter to A-List Bloggers Not Named Markos Moulitsas

I've sent emails to all of the A-List bloggers listed below at the contact email addresses listed at their blogs, with a link to this post, and a request that they consider responding to what Kos wrote about Kathy Sierra.  Hopefully those emails will be read by the persons to whom I addressed them.

Dear A-List Bloggers (including, but not limited to, Atrios, Joshua Micah Marshall, Jane Hamsher, Arianna Huffington, John Amato, Glenn Greenwald and John Aravosis):

Surely by now, you have become aware that Markos posted some really stupid shit at his blog about Kathy Sierra.  Basically, he downplayed the death threats and rape threats she received in order to argue that censorship of online speech is a bad idea.  Which it is.

 The trouble with Markos' post is that it was incredibly -- well -- incredibly misogynistic and callous toward Ms. Sierra's plight, to say the least.  And a large number of us B and C (and even lesser letter) list bloggers have called him on it.  For your benefit, some of those blog posts are listed below (via Wampum) [list deleted for brevity's sake -- just go to Wampum for the links]:

A not insignificant group of intelligent, thoughtful, progressive bloggers who have called Markos on the carpet for his, to be charitable, extremely insensitive, ignorant and demeaning remarks about not only the violent and sexual threats Kathy Sierra has endured, but what many female bloggers face online everyday.  Yet, surprisingly, I've yet to see any of you "big time", important voices of the left side of the blogosphere (at least, those of you I have listed above) speak out on this matter.  Not one post, in fact.  Which strikes me as a little odd.

Now, maybe you have been too busy to notice what Markos wrote regarding poor Ms. Sierra, or haven't had time to read and process it in order to prepare a proper response.  Or maybe you're reluctant to tell a friend of yours that he's just stepped in a pile of manure and really ought to clean off his shoes before he makes an even bigger mess.  I don't know.  But I do know that Markos sure as hell isn't listening to any of the rest of us, who, God knows, have tried very hard to get him to see the error of his ways.

So, let me appeal to you.  Maybe you'll have better luck that we have had.  Maybe you can get Markos to see that admitting his mistakes makes him a bigger man, not a smaller, weaker one.  Maybe if you speak up against the reprehensible and uncalled for comments he leveled at Kathy Sierra, and by extension, at all other women online who've ever received threats, or been demeaned and belittled by sexist and sexually harassing comments, he will see the light, and come clean.

Really, all it would take on his part is a simple apology, and an admission that he was wrong, and a lot of the anger and outrage he has generated among his fellow liberals and progressives, both men and women, would be forgotten, or at least forgiven.  Not that big a deal, you would think. It's what we  teach our children when they are still in diapers.  When you've done something wrong, when you've hurt someone, say you're sorry.

So, will you help us, and even more important, will you help Markos, by speaking out?  You have the big soap box, not us.  Many of you know him personally, not us.  And isn't it the duty of his friends to tell him that he's screwed the pooch on the Affaire le Sierra?  Isn't it more likely that if he hears from the people he considers his "peers" that he needs to make amends, the message might actually get through to him?

Please give it some serious consideration, will you?  I hope to see all of you posting about this matter at your earliest convenience.  To paraphrase the title to an earlier post I addressed to Markos directly regarding this matter, "It's the right thing to do."

So, please.  Just do it.


Steven D

Thanks for reading.  Hope that gets everyone up to speed on the issues involved.  My original post on Kathy Sierra (before Kos spoke up about it) is here: Kathy Sierra and Online Hate Crimes

Thanks for the opportunity to post these here Jerome.
by Steven D on Sun Apr 15th, 2007 at 01:12:40 PM EST
May I add that in Spain this post of Kos will come through as remarkably left-wing and pro-women... I guess there is some kind of perception difference..

In my everyday life disregarding violence problems when you are focusing on another issue is quite common.. It seems that in the US left is slighlty different and not paying attention to the issue when it appears even colaterally is considereing extremelly wrong. Am I right?

It is interesting to see the difference in perception.. I would say the same thing but elevated to Nth power happens with racist issues in Spain.

Given my knwoledge around I think Kos will not apologize but he may may sensible and specifically clarify that gender-absed violence was not the point of the post. He of course may act as (almost) every other spaniard ... I dunno.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Apr 15th, 2007 at 03:08:54 PM EST
... that has raised hackles, its the equating of women's experience online with his experience, and then since he can take it, so should they.

He would have been on a much safer tack if he had simply not considered the issue, than in his strategy of engaging in idle speculation about what was going on and then dismissing it on the basis of his idle speculation.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Mon Apr 16th, 2007 at 12:05:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Society has always drawn a fine line between what is legally acceptable and what is not. These lines are intended to divide the view of the majority in any society from the minority. But the line can be shifted, by both the election of different legislators, and in how public opinion can affect judicial arguments, and thus a change in precedents.

These fine lines will often seem arbitary to some: why alcohol may be legal in a society where cannabis is not. But if we have laws at all, it is the positioning of these fine lines that is just as important as adherence to broad principles. Providing that the argument on the positioning of the fine lines is based upon science, and that this scientific evaluation is communicated to, and discussed by, everyone, we will get as good a positioning as is needed for the moment.

But no argument is ever squashed forever. We, as societies, revisit old decisions all the time - and quite rightly.

Broad principles - like freedom of speech - do not exist in a vacuum. They must always be evaluated in the context of other broad, and possibly conflicting, principles, and the context in which the principles are applied. That's where the fine lines come in.

This Daily Kos case is surely one in which the fine lines have been obscured by in vacuo principles. The fine line of free speech is clearly drawn to protect individuals from personal threat. It doesn't matter if that speech is virtual or face to face. The fact that some of us macho males couldn't care less if we are threatened, does not create a precedent for a threat against any other person. Our chauvinistic failure to do anything about these threats is no excuse. They remain illegal - whoever they are aimed at.

To recap: such threats as this woman has experienced are against the law. The fact that many people who are threatened, fail to take action, does not change that law.

All broad principles can be summed up in the term 'human rights', and these rights are individual, as well as collective.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Apr 15th, 2007 at 03:43:56 PM EST
Thanks for posting that, Steve.

It seems kos has posted an explanation of his comments that adds up to much less than an apology and, frankly, contradicts his earlier post which only makes it stranger.

It's not that he trashed blogger eithics, everybody knows it's a non-starter, but that he specifically trashed Kathy Sierra's experience, and by extention every woman's experience on the web. Declared it a stupid, grow-up, grow-a-spine, get-a-life issue.

I said it was misogynistic, I still think he hasn't thought it through, but we know Kos isn't ideological so this stuff probably isn't gonna ever impact his thinking. But okay, if people have problems with the m-word, then grossly insensitive will do.

And his post this evening isn't gonna achieve anything. The kos apologists/kewl kids will buy iut as they always did, those he offended will keep waiting for Godot's apology

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Apr 15th, 2007 at 03:58:21 PM EST
It's a minefield of course, but individual compassion, to me, is top priority.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Apr 15th, 2007 at 05:26:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For me, the most refreshing and positive part of the Imus mess has been that basically no one has accepted any apologies, at least not in the conventional sense of, ok, you're forgiven, now let's all try to get along. Instead, Imus has been punished, and his enablers have been publicly shamed, not as much as I wish they'd been, but still, it's a small step forward.

Kos has certainly been guilty of a lack of empathy, but is that a crime? If only all the packets that have been switched to excoriate him and bemoan his insensitivity had been instead used to track down the supposedly "anonymous" men who've made Serra's life hell. Wouldn't better lessons be learned if there were pictures online of those guys being packed off to prison for a few years (or decades, if they made the threats in the U.S.)?

The older I get, the less I believe in redemption and the more contempt I have for "regrets" and "apologies."    

by Matt in NYC on Sun Apr 15th, 2007 at 05:47:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nobody accepted Imus' apologies cos he has never meant his apologies before, as Gwyn Ifill demonstrates, and he won't mean it this time or the next (he'll be on Fox soon enough). It's a sorry-I-got-caught apology, not an apology for what he said, for being a smart-ass bully who gets a cheap laugh from anybody who he considers unable to respond. And those enablers who encouraged him still don't get it either. Bill Maher, Russert, Kristol etc etc just don't understand why anybody is upset.

Conversely an apology from Kos, a recognition that he didn't understand, might have been accepted because he was so blatantly, factually wrong. We know he has little ideological sympathy for minority rights but, by trashing Sierra's experience, and by extention, all women's experience on the web, he effectively sided with those who'd attacked her. His non-apology simply compounded rather that error.

ps Some of Sierra's attackers have been reported to the police. It remains despicable that so many "progressives" were more concerned about their prerogatives than about how ideas of widening democratic debate on the web have been stifled by the behaviour of a few. Their silence is educational.

I share Steven D's disappointment that so many A & B list bloggers wouldn't step up. I remember a couple of years back when wise guys (hi Kevin) were effectively saying "women aren't capable of/temperamentally inclined to writing about politics cos we don't see them on political blogs". Now that canard has been well and truly trashed, surely the next step should be, "how do we stop the next generation of female democratic thinkers from learning that silence is the safest option ?" Kos's disdain hurts this process

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Apr 16th, 2007 at 06:27:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I defended kos because I distinguish between "dealing with the world as it is presented to you today" and "creating the world we want." Obviously they can be combined, but I don't hold it against people for not doing so.

I've known a number of women with sexual abuse in their past as well, and having seen the damage up close, it's hard for me to not look at this "blogger code of ethics" as the usual liberal "speak loudly and carry a small stick" kind of activity that both ensures the status quo and lets everyone feel smug about their "accomplishments."

We certainly do need a lot more men to speak out to other men on these issues, but kos has already demonstrated his disinterest and lack of knowledge, and I don't see why anyone would want to shoehorn him into that roll. Leave it to guys like this who work locally and in person (very important when it comes to this, I think), and know what they are talking about.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Sun Apr 15th, 2007 at 04:25:42 PM EST
... out the facts, then he should STFU in the game of idle speculation.

I suspect many are like this gem ...

Well, no, posting your name and address online to encourage the crazies to come and get you is not like somebody emailing that AIDS will get you because God designed it to kill libruls.

If kos can't be bothered to find out, he should say,

"I do not know the facts about this particular case, and I am not going to engage in idle speculation about it. My focus is on the issue of a blogger code of conduct. Irrespective of the facts of this particular case, a blogger code of conduct won't help."

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Mon Apr 16th, 2007 at 12:02:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Creating passionate users!
Even perusing these titles I salute you.
"Your brain on multitasking"
"Micromanagement the Zombie function"
"Death by risk aversion"
"Dignity is Deadly"

Hey, this woman was not attacked out of sexism, she has been targeted for her brillance and the proliferation of opinions counter to the prescribed and deliberate "destruction of American business" paradigms.

Affaire le Imus took attention away from this also.

by Lasthorseman on Sun Apr 15th, 2007 at 07:38:56 PM EST
Some thought on harassment, threats and fear:

For me, the real dividing line for this case is at the difference between a threat and offensive language. If something causes offence, of course it should be dealt with, but when it gets to the point of threats the game is different. A threat always (not always, of course...), I think, generate credible fear. I don't want to speak about this situation specifically. Yes, these threats are wrong, should be condemned absolutely, and telling Sierra to 'get over it' is incredibly insensitive and idiotic. What interests me more is the related series: crude jokes, teasing, offencive remarks, and harassment. The lines are not clear, there are always conflicts around living and working together, and this is as it should be. Let me elaborate a bit, though perhaps not completely coherently...

Offencive language and harassment: Here I think it actually does call for people to 'grow a back bone'. I am not a fan of hyper sensitive PC rules. Simply because these really cut in to the fun of having people around... I enjoy the teasing (sometimes with sexual overtones) in my workplace. I would not get rid of it for the world! I have however never felt, um, violated by it... It is very good natured. I have however on one occasion had to clarify to a colleague that in fact I don't mind these sorts of jokes, and if they ever go to far, I'll be sure as hell to make it know directly, and not through some report to HR or whatever. I think the expression I used was: "You'll feel my fist in your face before I'd ever consider reporting you." I do believe we all have a duty to challenge the source before running around denouncing people to the thought police.

I am a bit worried sometimes that women get told that they are supposed to be offended by certain remarks, a certain attitude, when in fact one can approach it in different ways. I don't like the feminism that advocates a wussy 'oh, poor me, I'm so harassed' line of approach. Stand up for yourselves, girls, give them a foot in the ass, if necessary... Yeah, I like a more, um, confrontational approach. Yeah, I've seen PC over reach, and I've seen abusive harassment, and neither of them are pretty... But I don't want to live in a suffocating PC culture, I really don't.

Story time!
Okay, so everyone is not like me, nor should they be. Find your own personality please, mine is taken! [With credit to Sven for that line...] I have found myself in pretty heavy gender unbalanced situations where a direct and outrageous approach worked well. This is probably not for all, but those nasty, dirty minded men, can be brought to their knees with quite simple tricks sometimes... Like, if you can embarrass them by being even more explicit and nasty. He he he...

When I was a young woman of 18 and was preparing to head abroad for university my (socialist) father came to insist that before I went to join the bourgeoisie I would spend a summer doing manual labour, to appreciate the plight of the proletariat, as it were... Thus I was found I position for the summer in the construction business, and set out to toil with jack hammers, dry wall, screws and hammers. The very first day, having lunch with the other workers, I discovered directly their crassness. Very crude jokes, "hey, little girl, come to work with the real men, huh, heh, eh, heh...", "let us show you, heh, how real men work...", and so on. To me, for reasons unknown, this never seemed either offencive or threatening... I mean, I knew that this was supposed to be 'demeaning', and was not necessarily offered in good spirit, but they just fell short of being injurious. They seemed ridiculous, and I could not quite bring myself to feel put down. I was, however, annoyed that they were trying this. A bit angry, really. I mean, who the fuck did they think they were? Hot stuff? Intimidating? Hardly! So, anyway, I ate a banana that lunch. In a way that had them all staring at me in horror and embarrassment. After this, all I really had to do was give them a look, whenever they got a bit out of line. I had a very good time that summer. The only part of my assignment to 'appreciate the plight of the proletariat' that I minded was getting up at 5h30 every day. Yeah, I really enjoyed quite a lot the crude jokes thrown about, after I had positioned myself to be included on the side that was laughing. I would not have missed this for the world, I would not wish to have worked with people afraid to offend me. (These construction guys were really not kind to any minority group. Shit, they were racist, sexist, homophobic assholes. Also, they were quite funny, and economically firmly on the left. Nasty little bigots, though...)

Is this for everyone? Probably not! And not for all contexts or ages. But my point is, there are options. There are ways to confront intolerable behaviour and make peace with those that would offend. Simply refusing to be offended can be a powerful tool. I hate that women are essentially told that they are supposed to be offended, supposed to feel put down, belittled, and demeaned. And then, they are supposed to turn to some pansy ass PC channel to register discontent and get everyone to fall in line in the most boring, bland, humourless form of civility. I am against this, totally, and completely. So, please, grow a back bone, talk back, get on the other side of the jokes, etc. And yeah, if there is 'real harassment' (how does one tell?), if nothing works, you are excluded, etc. As a last resort, yes, one should be able to make a complaint, to have the situation officially rectified. But before this, I'd say, one has an obligation, a duty, to be there in the fray, to entertain the idea that the crude joke might not be the end of the world, might not threaten all of womanhood, can be confronted, joined, or ignored. Not a legal duty, but a personal one, to not denounce to the authorities other than as a last resort. Too many are all to happy to do it as a first resort, sometimes as a punitive measure against a 'creep', for being what, a 'creep'? Ie. not attractive enough or suave enough... And that is indefensible!

I do not support excessive fear, and fear does not always correlate with experience. Let me show you some data from Sweden... (Would be fun to find and compare to other nations as well. If anyone knows where I can find equivalent statistics, let me know.)

Refs. These data set includes people who:
Data, fear of violence:

Har svarat "ja, ofta" eller "ja, någon gång" på frågan "Har det under de senaste 12 månaderna hänt att Du avstått från att ge Dig ut på kvällen av oro för att bli överfallen, rånad eller på annat sätt ofredad?". Have answered "yes, often", or "yes, some time" to the question "Have you during the past 12 months refrained from going out at night because of fear of attack, robbery, or other kinds of violation of your person?".

Data, experience of violence:

Har svarat "ja" på någon av följande frågor: "Har Du själv under de senaste 12 månaderna varit utsatt för någon eller några av följande händelser: A) Våld som ledde till sådana skador att det krävde besök hos läkare, tandläkare eller sjuksköterska; B) Våld som ledde till synliga märken eller kroppsskada utan läkarbesök; C) Våld som inte ledde till synliga märken eller kroppsskada; D) Hot eller hotelser om våld som var farliga eller så allvarliga att Du blev rädd?". Have answered "yes" to any of the following questions: "Have you during the past 12 months experienced any of the following: A) Violence leading to injury requiring the attention of a physician, dentist, or nurse; B) Violence leading to visible marks or other bodily injury; C) Violence which didn't lead to visible marks or bodily injury; D) Threats of violence that were so dangerous or serious that you got scared?".

Okay, so for all kinds of categorisation we observe that fear of violence in no way correlates with experience of violence for that group. (For the age groups we even see an inverse correlation) The groups that are more afraid (women and the elderly) are exactly the ones where there is more media attention around incidents, and where the group perhaps has some reason to feel vulnerable. But I don't find it very positive, empowering, or progressive that those groups are encouraged to be afraid, and told to be excessively cautious of being in some was violated or exploited. And by extension discouraged from directly and personally confronting offensive behaviour. ("Better tell some authority, don't talk to him, what if he retaliates? You could get raped!" Yeah, bull, I say. That's rather unlikely...)

by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Mon Apr 16th, 2007 at 08:27:47 AM EST

My first thought.  Ah!  So someone is....not a bloke from Sweden.

My second thought (just leapt into my head): The quote from Shrek by Donkey.  "Oh, you're a girl dragon!"

"I'm a donkey on the edge!"

And then a last thought--can't remember where this came chronologically:

Ah!  Now I understand your comment about speed and housework a bit better.

Only maybe that's just because I don't do much housework.  (I'd rather they looked for the lazy gene than the fat gene.  Doctor: "I'm afraid you have an excess of RPGBZ0789EE, otherwise known as the 'lazy gene'.  For this I am prescribing you not much work for the next fifteen years and a course of water skiing.")

Plus you built that piece of software that Fran uses every day.  So, someone, oh!  And a great post...from someone!

Which would be you!

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Mon Apr 16th, 2007 at 09:12:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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